Spring has sprung, and the next seven days bring the best in hip-hop, indie rock and more. The Ready Room has a hat trick of shows this week with Earl Sweatshirt, Tycho and the Gaslight Anthem on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. Ambient artist Tim Hecker plays the Kranzberg Arts Center on Friday while free-jazz legend Matthew Shipp takes the Stage at KDHX with bassist Michael Bisio on Saturday night. Peruse our picks below, and let us know what you're looking forward to.
MONDAY, MARCH 23
Soulard Blues Band Monday, March 23 Broadway Oyster Bar 9 p.m. | $5 By Roy Kasten From the 2014 RFT Music Awards: One day, dear reader, the Soulard Blues Band will be no more. It's just a fact. And one day you'll wonder why, despite all the opportunities every other day of the week, you never saw this St. Louis institution in its prime -- and no, the band's prime ain't over. If somehow you've never danced your ass off when Art Dwyer lays down a bass line as smooth as crushed velvet, or when Marty Abdullah swings his phrasing on "Kansas City Blues" or "Dust My Broom," or when Tom Maloney plays a solo that would make his mentor (the late, great Benny Smith) smile, well you really should. Don't take this band for granted. Pay your respects soon; they've been earned.
TUESDAY, MARCH 24
Earl Sweatshirt w/ Vince Staples, Remy Banks Tuesday, March 24 The Ready Room 8 p.m. | $25-$30 By Tara Mahadevan Earl Sweatshirt came up as a member of the Odd Future collective, but stood out from its ranks with his underground, raw sound and unmatched lyricism. After releasing his debut studio album, Doris, in 2013, Earl is now slated to drop his latest offering, Home Alone with Reggie, sometime this year. Doris was a critical darling upon its release -- even regarded by some outlets as one of the best hip-hop albums of the year -- so we're pretty much waiting with bated breath for what the young rapper has in store for us.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25
Tycho Wednesday, March 25 The Ready Room 8 p.m. | $20 By Joseph Hess Tycho's live show brings a cross-section of guitars and percussion with prepared loops and analog synthesizers. The result stays true to the band's classy studio production but contains enough headroom to aurally explore. And the band does just that. Remember Toonami? Cartoon Network's hours-long block started airing in the late '90s, bringing action shows and anime to an after-school audience. When Adult Swim filled the niche for outsider animation on the same network, Toonami was cancelled -- Tycho's "Cascade" played at the end of the final broadcast in 2008. Nerd cred.
THURSDAY, MARCH 26
The Gaslight Anthem w/ Northcote, Sammy Kay Thursday, March 26 The Ready Room 8 p.m. | $30 By Roy Kasten "Most of my heroes don't appear on no stamps," intoned Chuck D on 1989's "Fight the Power," and the same could be said for Gaslight Anthem -- a band, like Public Enemy, for whom heroes mean everything. The Clash, the Ramones and, above all else, fellow Garden Stater Bruce Springsteen -- who has been the group's most conspicuous champion -- would all be stamp-worthy in the band's eyes. But hero worship seldom makes for great rock & roll. Gaslight Anthem's strategy is to celebrate and subvert the sacred sound of its all-guitars-blazing anthems and its relentless backbeat that's as fist-pumpable as it is crowd-surfable. And rest assured, there will be plenty of both when these latter-day heroes take the Ready Room stage. Fellow followers of Springsteen-esque songwriter rock, Northcote and Sammy Kay, set the tone as openers.
Follow through for more great shows Friday through Sunday.